Advanced scientometric tools are moving from the realm of the privileged few with access to mainframe and minicomputers to
the desktop of researchers equipped with personal computers. This shift is not only due to the decreasing cost and technological
advances in PCs but the ready availability of a powerful multitasking operating system, a versatile text processing language
and easy access to the Internet. Furthermore, the latest releases of PC software, such as Microsoft Excel, make it possible
to develop graphical user interfaces into complex bibliometric data for a wide spectrum of researchers and policy analysts.
Recent developments in digital communication, in particular, tools to access the Internet via the World Wide Web will provide
even greater flexibility to those researchers wishing to make their scientometric data available to a diverse international
audience. This paper examines how the BESST project developed a Desktop Scientometric environment using public domain, hardware
independent software, prototyped a graphical user interface to provide easy access to UK sectoral level bibliometric data
and gives a glimpse into future developments.
An analysis of 1317 papers published in first fifty volumes during 1978 to 2001 of the international journal Scientometrics indicates the heterogeneity of the field with emphasis on scientometric assessment. The study indicates that the US share of papers is constantly on the decline while that of the Netherlands, India, France and Japan is on the rise. The research output is highly scattered as indicated by the average number of papers per institution. The scientometric output is dominated by the single authored papers, however, multi-authored papers are gaining momentum. Similar pattern has been observed for domestic and international collaboration.
Since Vassily V. Nalimov coined the Russian term ‘scientometrics’ (‘naukometriya’) (Nalimov and Mulchenko 1969 ), the term has grown to define research in quantitative aspects of science and technology. The term
Although the field of scientometrics/bibliometrics is rapidly growing, and the interest in scientometric indicators is constantly rising, the field is in a crisis: subfields are drifting apart, the field is lacking consensus in basic questions and of internal communication, the quality of scientometric research is questioned by other disciplines. Among the causes stated are: the loss of integrating personalities; shift from basic and methodological research to applied bibliometrics; domination of the interests of science policy and business in commissioning and funding research; vendor policies and failing quality-management on the side of database-producers; misuse of bibliometric research results and disregard for scientific standards. To overcome the situation, the authors plead for integrative and interdisciplinary research approaches, for reinforcing fundamental, methodological and experimental research programs in scientometrics, for independent funding of research, and for an enhancement of scientometric databases. The need for acknowledged technical and scientific standards in research and publication is stressed. Finally, the establishment of aCode of Ethics for the field of scientometrics is proposed.
Garfield first proposed the concept over 50 years ago (Garfield 1955 ), he did not realise that impact factors would one day become the subject of such widespread controversy (Garfield 1999 ). As the current special issue of Scientometrics suggests
Stationary distributions, i.e. distributions involving no time dependence, are analysed. The rank and frequency forms of statistical distributions are considered. On the basis of this consideration the approximations of stationary scientometric distributions are reviewed.